Odessa Part 2: Friday Night Lights

In 1988, a high school football team in Odessa, Texas, was so good that it had the power to lift an entire city out of its depression, making Odessa the setting of the television series “Friday Night Lights.” And in the decades since, as West Texas has weathered the nauseating undulations of the oil industry, football has remained steady.

So when the pandemic hit, the town did what it could to make sure the season stayed on. And at Odessa High School, where the football team struggles to compete against local rivals, that meant ensuring that their award-winning marching band could keep playing.

In part two of Odessa, we follow what happened when the season opened — and how the school weighed the risks to students’ physical and mental health.

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